The 2012 Audi A3 is a entry-level luxury compact hatchback that offers an impressive level of performance and comfort at a more budget-friendly price than other Audi vehicles. Standard equipment for both trim levels of the A3 include 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, front and rear fog lights, leather seats and a 10-speaker stereo.
Premium Plus models come with a multifunction steering wheel with shift paddles, Bluetooth phone connectivity, LED daytime running lights and xenon headlights. Rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic headlights, automatic dimming rearview mirror and rear parking distance sensors all are available as options. Heated side-view mirrors, heated seats and heated windshield washer jets are all included in the optional cold weather package.
Audi offers the 2012 A3 with either a gasoline or a diesel engine. The gasoline engine is a 2.0 liter paired with a turbocharger to put out 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel-drive is standard equipment, but Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel-drive is also available.
A six-speed manual transmission comes as standard equipment, with an optional six-speed S tronic transmission. The diesel engine is a 2.0 liter that works with a turbocharger, putting out a maximum 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.
The S tronic transmission comes standard, as does front-wheel-drive, but Quattro is not available with the diesel engine. The gasoline engine achieves an EPA estimated 22 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, while the diesel engine excels with an estimated 30 mpg city and 42 mpg highway.
Inside, the 2012 Audi A3 provides seating for up to five occupants. The rear cargo area can accommodate up to 20 cubic feet of items, but with the rear seats folded down the cargo capacity expands to 39 cubic feet.
An optional navigation system helps drivers find their way both on city and country roads. The optional panoramic sunroof allows passengers in the front and rear seats to look through the roof of the A3.